Let’s say you’re preparing dinner and you realize with dismay that you don’t have any certified organic Tuscan kale. What to do?
Here’s how Michelle Obama handled this very predicament Thursday afternoon:
The Secret Service and the D.C. police brought in three dozen vehicles and shut down H Street, Vermont Avenue, two lanes of I Street and an entrance to the McPherson Square Metro station. They swept the area, in front of the Department of Veterans Affairs, with bomb-sniffing dogs and installed magnetometers in the middle of the street, put up barricades to keep pedestrians out, and took positions with binoculars atop trucks. Though the produce stand was only a block or so from the White House, the first lady hopped into her armored limousine and pulled into the market amid the wail of sirens.
Then, and only then, could Obama purchase her leafy greens. “Now it’s time to buy some food,” she told several hundred people who came to watch. “Let’s shop!”
So Michelle Obama gets a farmer’s market set up near the White House. Okay, great. Never mind that it cuts off a way to get through a very crowded city at the end of the day. That doesn’t matter.
What is so funny is that this market is within walking distance of the White House and she takes a limo. She shops but doesn’t pay. Then leaves in her limo. I get the security thing, but really? When you are trying to cut down on the great boogey gas, Carbon, you mount up an expedition of a dozen SUVs and a limo to go a couple of blocks to talk up produce. I hope the person left holding the basket and paying for the organic, free range radishes hitched a ride with someone. It’s only fair.
But whatever the socioeconomics, there can be no doubt that Obama brought some serious attention to her cause. Hundreds of people crowded the market entrance on I Street as police directed pedestrians to alternative subway entrances. Hundreds braved a light rain and gave a hearty cheer when Obama and her entourage took the stage. “I can’t imagine there’s been a day in the history of our country when people have been more excited about farmers markets,” Mayor Adrian Fenty, Obama’s warm-up act, told the crowd.
I can imagine it, Mayor I-rigged-the-system-to-get-my-kids-into-THE-public-school-in-DC Fenty, like back when men like John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington had comestibles to sell.
The first lady, in gray slacks and blue sweater, marveled that the people were “so pumped up” despite the rain. “I have never seen so many people so excited about fruits and vegetables!” she said. (Must be the tender baby arugula.)
Are you sure it isn’t because you’ve surrounded yourself with an assortment of boot-lickers, brown-nosers and sycophants? ‘Cause I’m thinking that if I paid people to be my assistants they would be all kinds of excited about elephant poo when I brought the media with me to pick it up from the circus. Also, where is the bondage belt? We’ve come to expect more latex from you, Michelle.
She spoke of the global reach of her cause: “The first thing world leaders, prime ministers, kings, queens ask me about is the White House garden. And then they ask about Bo.”
Okay, I’ve got a garden at work too. I’ll give you that.
She spoke of the fuel fed to the world’s most powerful man: “I’ve learned that when my family eats fresh food, healthy food, that it really affects how we feel, how we get through the day . . . whether there’s a Cabinet meeting or whether we’re just walking the dog.”
“And that’s why we use Wilkin’s Uber Juicy Vitamins!”
And she spoke of her own culinary efforts: “There are times when putting together a healthy meal is harder than you might imagine.”
“It’s even harder when you have a 4 star chef, a professional kitchen and a staff of 100 to get a meal on the table for all of our unexpected visitors. I mean, who the heck really knows what to do with this organic Giant Hornet Honey?
Particularly when it involves a soundstage, an interpreter for the deaf, three TV satellite trucks and the closing of part of downtown Washington.